Heading to Graduate School
Fistful of Scholarship Dollars
Samford Grads Earn Impressive Packages
for Continued Study
|Kellie Warren receives congratulations from
Samford President Thomas E. Corts after receiving the Velma Wright
Irons Award as class salutatorian at graduation. Pennsylvania
State University put together a $63,766 scholarship package to
recruit her to graduate school.
Kellie Warren wants to be a college
teacher, and that means graduate school for the recent Samford
grad. Like a number of her classmates, she will venture forth
in the fall to continue her education armed with substantial
scholarship awards. In Warren's case, very substantial awards.
Pennsylvania State University offered the English major from
Gardendale a $63,766 package for two years in its comparative
literature curriculum. She was one of only 10 students admitted
to the highly competitive graduate program. If she maintains
strong academic standing, the funding will continue a third year.
"I had applied to other places," said Warren, "but
this offer was so good, I didn't pay much attention to the others."
Warren caught Penn State's attention with her superior academic
record (she was class salutatorian) and a variety of academic
experiences which prepared her for graduate study, according
to her Samford mentor, Dr. Denita Drees of the World Languages
and Cultures Department. These included research abroad in Spain,
using her second language of Spanish; extensive experience writing
undergraduate research papers; study in yet another language,
Portuguese; and her performance on an undergraduate oral examination
this spring in literature and literary theory and criticism.
Warren took a number of Spanish courses at Samford, partly because
she preferred reading Spanish literature in its original language.
At one point in her Penn State interview, a professor "spontaneously
interviewed Kellie in Spanish, and later in Portuguese, to assess
both her capacity for applied research in those languages and
also her ability to teach in Spanish and/or Portuguese,"
said Dr. Drees. Samford provides a good academic climate for
students who want to go to graduate school, said political science
professor Fred Shepherd, who coordinates the Samford College
Society, an organization which stresses preparation for graduate
study. The emphasis on a broad education in the core curriculum
helps them develop their abilities to write, reason and speak,
said Dr. Shepherd. Samford's involvement in the National Collegiate
Undergraduate Research competition does the same, he added. NCUR
gives students (44 this year) an opportunity to present research
papers at a national meeting each spring.
Graduate study at well-known institutions beckons other Samford
grads this fall. Here's a sampling of opportunities they earned.
Gareth Dutton, Louisiana
State-A psychology major, Dutton applied to 13 Ph.D. programs,
was accepted by nine and received "exceptionally good"
scholarship offers from three: LSU, the University of Florida
and the University of South Florida. LSU offered a scholarship
of $16,200 renewable for four years, plus annual waiver of out-of-state
tuition (currently $7,300). He accepted, not because it was the
highest, but because "my mentor's research interests are
closest to mine," he said. Dutton wants to specialize in
health psychology issues. His degree will be in the field of
clinical/medical psychology, which will enable him to deal not
only with traditional clinical disorders in mental hospitals
but with the medical population in traditional hospitals. This
fall, a hospital assistantship will have him working as a therapist
for hospital employees. He will rotate throughout the hospital.
Kristen Green, University
of Notre Dame-Green is Samford's first graduate in Ernst &
Young's Your Master Plan program, which enables non-accounting
majors to earn a master of accountancy degree while employed
by the national accounting firm. The business major will attend
classes two summers in South Bend, Ind., and take long-distance
courses spring and fall while working in the company's Birmingham
"It's very intense," said Green. "We basically
study from dawn until dusk." The package provides full tuition,
housing, meals, school supplies, laptop computer and travel valued
at about $30,000. Plus, Green earns an entry-level E&Y salary.
|Luke Roy, University of California at Riverside-A
missionary kid who spent most of his youth in Uruguay, Roy came
to Samford because of its environmental science/geographic information
systems major. Now, he will work toward a master of science in
environmental toxicology with a two-year package totaling $54,000.
He will assist in setting up an aquatic ecotoxicology lab in
CaliforniaRiverside's Soil and Water Sciences Department,
considered one the nation's best. Roy also received a full-ride
scholarship offer in the University of Mississippi Ph.D. program.
Louis Britton, University of Mississippi School of MedicineBritton
hails from a family of physicians. His grandfather and uncle
are physicians, seven family members are in medicine including
two cousins in medical school, and his mother is a nurse. Britton
follows the tradition with the help of a four-year $88,000 Bryan
Barksdale Scholarship. The biology major hopes to go into internal
medicine specializing in geriatrics, eventually joining his uncle's
practice in Jackson. Britton came to Samford to play football,
but an injury forced him to give up the game. He later worked
in Biology Department research projects and served as a Samford
Karen Smith Hetzler, Washington University-Hetzler, a voice performance
major, wants to teach, "maybe at the undergraduate level,
and you need a doctorate for that." First, she will work
toward a master's in music with a two-year teaching assistantship.
It provides tuition of $32,000 per year and a stipend of $3,000
per year. A performer with Samford Opera Workshop and the A Cappella
Choir, she was twice chosen for Concerto-Aria, which annually
spotlights Samford's top music students.
Chris Nelson, Indiana University-A double major in theatre
and religion, Nelson will pursue a master of fine arts degree
on full scholarship and stipend totaling $18,000 per year for
three years. He will be a teaching assistant his second and third
years. He will also attend classes in acting, speech and movement
and be available for casting in productions the first year. "Basically,
they will be paying me to act," said Nelson, a baritone
who had lead roles in Guys and Dolls, Children of Eden and Rumors
Elizabeth Godsey, Wake Forest University-Godsey sat in the office
of University Minister James Barnette facing a video camera.
Barnette tore open an envelope and started asking questions.
Godsey's job was to respond cold to six questions. "They
were very open-ended questions from my subject area," said
Godsey, a history major. "It was pretty terrifying, actually."
The interview was part of her application process, and her responses
were effective. They helped her gain acceptance into a 14-month
Master Teacher Fellows program that took only five history majors
and 24 total students. The scholarship pays $10,000 full tuition
and a $4,000 stipend.
Chad Eggleston, Duke University-Eggleston, a religion major,
had scholarship offers from Duke and Princeton University divinity
schools. He chose Duke's offer of $11,100 for three years. "I
was looking for a place to provide three things: practical training
in the ministry, a community aspect where I would fit in and
add something, and an atmosphere where I would be challenged,"
said Eggleston. His home church, Tabernacle Baptist of Carrollton,
Ga., is also providing Chad $1,000 in assistance per year.
Melissa Mauldin, University of Florida-She majored in sociology,
minored in Spanish and spent three years working with the Alabama
Poverty Project, which is headquartered at Samford. Her long-range
goal is to earn a Ph.D. and work at the policy level of poverty
programs in Latin America. "I know I am called to missions,"
Mauldin said. She will specialize in Latin American studies at
Florida with a two-year teaching assistantship totaling $18,000
and another $18,000 in stipends.
Jennifer Baxley, Circle on the Square, New York City-This prestigious
theater conservatory on Broadway accepts 70 students each year
and offers a two-year professional certification equivalent to
a master's degree. First-year students in this highly competitive
program receive no assistance, although second-year students
do. A theatre and voice major at Samford, Baxley will attend
classes on a nine-to-six schedule and have opportunities for
night acting work. This summer, she made her equity acting debut
with the New Harmony Theatre in Evansville, Ind., playing the
maid in The Philadelphia Story.
Davi Johnson, University of Georgia-A talented debater who
talked her way to this year's National Championships, Johnson
will work toward a Ph.D. in speech communication with the help
of a $12,000 a year teaching assistantship. She will assist in
Georgia's speech communication and debate programs.